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Innovate UK: funding competition for manufacturing and materials

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Innovate UK launches funding competition for manufacturing and materials

Innovate UK, the UK's innovation agency, has announced a new competition for grant funding for research and development in manufacturing and materials with a budget of up to £15 million.

The aim of the competition is to stimulate and broaden innovation in manufacturing and materials, to lead to increased business productivity, competitiveness and growth, especially for SMEs. Projects may focus on technical feasibility, industrial research or experimental development, and examples given by Innovate UK include:

  • taking an innovative step in addressing the manufacturing readiness of growing sectors
  • the development of more flexible or efficient processes
  • greater customisation of products to fit diverging consumer needs
  • diversification of product and service lines to serve new markets, or,
  • the development of novel services that open up new sources of revenue from manufacturing

The Innovate UK announcement gives more specific examples, and says that proposals should be creating a step change in productivity and competitiveness for at least one UK SME involved in the project.

Specifically, for this competition, Innovate UK are looking for applications which feature the novel application of a digital technology or approach to manufacturing or materials development (such as automation, modelling and simulation, data analysis), or design for manufacture, use, and end-of-life.

Innovate UK funding criteria and amounts

All projects must be led by a UK-based business, and must involve at least one SME. If project costs are less than £100,000 then an SME can work alone on the project or with partners, and if the project costs are £100,000 or more then the project must include at least two partners working collaboratively. The innovation project must last between 6 months and 3 years, and it must focus on technical feasibility, industrial research and/or experimental development

Innovate UK has allocated up to £15 million to fund innovation projects in this competition. They have up to £5 million available for projects lasting up to one year, £5 million for projects lasting up to 2 years and £5 million for projects up to 3 years.

The proportion of your project that can be funded by Innovate UK depends on the type of project, and on the size of the company making the application. Full details and application procedures are at the Innovate UK website.

How to apply

Companies wishing to apply for this funding competition must register with Innovate UK by noon on 6th July 2016, and apply by noon on 13th July 2016. Many companies choose to work with a specialist consultancy for their grant applications, and this may be particularly important for this competition as Innovate UK’s application processes and evaluation criteria have recently changed. If your company would like to work with Myriad Associates for your application for this grant, please contact us as soon as possible, as we would need to have an agreement in place with your company by no later than 13th June 2016.

About Myriad Associates

Myriad Associates are leading experts in helping businesses maximise public funding for their research and development activities through R&D Grants and R&D Tax Credits. If you would like to discuss any aspect of R&D grant funding or R&D tax relief please contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

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